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Who will make the Man Booker Prize Long List 2010?

The long list for the Booker Prize will be revealed on Tuesday 27th July. I’m so excited! I have read a lot of fantastic new fiction this year and so trying to select 13 books for my ‘Booker dozen’ prediction was very hard. In the end I chose:



I think that Mitchell will win the Booker this year, but it’s probably too early for that sort of prediction!



Books I’ve read, with links to my reviews:

Rupture – Simon Lelic  

The Birth of Love – Joanna Kavenna 

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet – David Mitchell stars41

Ruby’s Spoon – Anna Lawrence Pietroni stars41

The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas stars41

Even the Dogs – Jon McGregor  stars41

Solar – Ian McEwan 

Illustrado – Miguel Syjuco 

Books I’ve heard wonderful things about and hope to read soon:

Forgetting Zoe – Ray Robinson

Room – Emma Donoghue

The Hand That First Held Mine – Maggie O’Farrell

Parrot and Olivier in America – Peter Carey

The Go-Away Bird – Warren FitzGerald

I plan to read the complete Booker long list this year, but I’m hoping that I’ll have read the majority of them and so this won’t be such a hard task.

What do you think of my selection?

Who do you think will make the Booker long list?

74 replies on “Who will make the Man Booker Prize Long List 2010?”

Amanda, Room is published in the UK on 6th August. I have a copy and plan to read it in the next week or two, but from what I’ve heard already it sounds like a fantastic book. I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming months. 🙂

The Hand That First Held Mine is an excellent book. I hope you’re right, and it makes an appearance on the long list. I’ve got a copy of Room that I haven’t read yet, but if the way people are already talking about it is any indication, it should be a lock for the list!

Megan, I have only seen really positive reviews for The Hand That First Held Mine. I haven’t read any Maggie O’Farrel yet and had hoped to start with Esme Lennox, but I think I’m going to have to switch plans at the last minute. I’m really looking forward to trying her books 🙂

I can always count on you Jackie to keep me informed about what is going on with the Award Books. I appreciate that!. It always amazes me how many you have read too… to hang my head in shame now 🙁 LOL

Diane, No! Don’t hang your head in shame! I think one of the problems for Booker readers outside the UK is that many won’t even have been published elsewhere yet. You read lots of fantastic books, so don’t worry about sharing my list 🙂

If Mitchell wins this year after missing out with ‘Cloud Atlas’, then there is something wrong with the universe!

And is ‘The Slap’ eligible for this year? It seems to have been around for ever; I thought I was the last person to read it by the time I got around to my review a few months back 😉

I’m liking ‘Ilustrado’ (review in a few days), but it would be pushing it to think it will win in this company…

…so McEwan or Carey will be up there because everyone’s heard of them 🙂

Tony, I agree with you. There is no way The Line of Beauty should have won over Cloud Atlas – something went very wrong there! Thousand Autumns isn’t his best book, but I struggle to imagine anything else winning. I have my fingers crossed for him anyway.

The Slap is eligible. The Booker prize is based on the UK publication date, so even though The Slap was published in Australia/NZ last year it was only published for the first time in the UK in May.

I’m looking forward to your Illustrado review 🙂

I’d like to gently point out that there were two other highly deserving titles on the 2004 shortlist – Colm Tóibín’s The Master, and Gerard Woodward’s I’ll Go to Bed at Noon. At the time I wanted The Master to win, but as time has gone on, my longlasting affection is for I’ll Go to Bed at Noon.

I’ve just started Woodward’s new one, Nourishment, and I’d love to see it go far in this year’s Booker.

John, Perhaps we’ll just have to agree that 2004 was a very strong year for the Booker and our favourites can’t always win.

I hadn’t heard of Nourishment. I’ll have to look it up. Thanks for drawing it to my attention.

I’ve only read the Mitchell and the Lelic from the list, but have a couple of others on the wishlist (Solar, The Slap, Even The Dogs and Ruby’s Spoon). Okay, that’s more than a couple…

I do hope Mitchell wins, but as Tony above said, if he wins for this and not Cloud Atlas, there is something wrong with the universe!

I think you’ve got a really diverse and interesting list here. I hope the official list is as good! And I really hope Maggie O’Farrell makes the cut, but I’m not sure on that one. I do think that the Mitchell and the McEwan are probably a shoe-in though.

Steph, I’m surprised that you’re unsure about the Maggie O’Farrell. I have only heard amazing things about it. I hope to read it soon and discover why it was a wonderful read, but you think it wont make it.

Interesting list. I haven’t read, well, any of them, so I can’t comment! I have a few of them though so if they make it I’ll have to read them.

Lizzy, I’m surprised by the number of books on your list that are new to me. I’m hoping that if my prediction is wrong I will at least be rewarded by some wonderful new books to add to the TBR list 🙂

Surely between us we have identified the majority of books on the list? Or then again maybe not – the judges wouldn’t be doing their jobs properly, if they didn’t surprise us.

mee, I’m sure there will be at least one Australian, if not several. I think Peter Carey is a certainty for this years long list, but I look forward to the big reveal 🙂

i m doing my post later jackie ,but only 4 same as you , so be interesting to see what makes list tomorrow ,all the best stu

The only book I’ve read on the list is Ilustrado which I really didn’t like at all. I did meet the author and he was quite charming but I really didn’t care for the plot or his writing style. I’m eager to read The Slap and some of the others on your list but wasn’t The Slap written a few years ago.

Mrs B, I wasn’t a big fan of Illustrado either, but I do think it is the most literary novel I’ve read that qualifies for the Booker this year. I think Illustrado will divide opinion, but it is worthy of a place on the Booker long list.

The Slap was published for the first time in the UK this year so qualifies, despite having been in Aus/Nz for a while.

People who say there’s something wrong if Mitchell wins the Booker for The Thousand Autumns, when he didn’t win for Cloud Atlas are in danger of falling into the same trap as peole who say McEwan should have won it for Atonement and not Amsterdam. The only cure is a severe slapping, which I would be happy to administer. The fact is, in Booker terms, there’s no comparison between Thousand Autumns and Cloud Atlas because they are entrants in different years with different judges and, of course, different competitors. A book can only beat those it is longlisted alongside and not those of another year. Cloud Atlas never won the Booker; get over it.

Well, someone got out of bed on the wrong side this morning 😉

If you’re saying that ‘Cloud Atlas’ was unlucky enough to be in a stronger field than ‘Thousand Autumns’, then you would have a point – were I to believe that any of those books were better than Mitchell’s.

The fact is that having been nominated before and not won, there’s every chance that the star factor (or the ‘Cloud Atlas’ was robbed factor) could sway the judges in his favour. Does the best book always win? Don’t say you think these awards are 100% objective now…

P.S. I actually enjoyed ‘Ilustrado’ more than ‘Thousand Autumns’ anyway 🙂

I always get out of bed on the wrong side. I should rearrange the furniture.

I’m not saying Cloud Atlas was unlucky in its year; and I’ve not actually read it, although I’ve a general understanding of its structure. I really really liked The Line Of Beauty, and think it a worthy winner. One thing to bear in mind when considering the judging is that those doing it have to read the books three times —- initial stage, after the longlist, then after the shortlist —- so the tricksy charms of Cloud Atlas may not be so effective a third time around when it comes to picking an eventual winner. I’d say The Line Of Beauty, with its allusions to Henry James, offers a great deal of depth that unlocks itself with each reading and thus raises the book in a reader’s estimation.

I know it’s a perfectly subjective decision and more often than not one of complete compromise, but I daresay that any judging panel that seeks to right a perceived wrong rather than judging on the books submitted —- or called in —- is not adequately performing their role.

That’s fair enough, and I’d agree with most of that. However, having read ‘Cloud Atlas’ a second time this year (and there will be a third time…), it actually is one of those books that bears rereading. I discovered a lot more this time, and I’m sure that next time will uncover even more gems.

‘Thousand Autumns’? Not so sure. After your comments on rereading, I’m even more positive about ‘Ilustrado”s chances…

Stewart, I think that this year is actually quite weak for the Booker prize and so can easily see Thousand Autumns winning simply because the competition isn’t good enough. I’m really hoping that a hidden gem will appear on the long list, but I don’t hold out high hopes for it. Those Booker judges sometimes do very strange things, so who knows what they’ll do 🙂

I’m looking forward to the announcement of the longlist and hope a number of the titles I have sitting in reserve are on it, in order to save me a bit of cash. I’m sort of expecting The Old Spring by Richard Francis to be on the list, what with one of the judges already praising it in a review.

As I mentioned to Tony above, it’s a case of the judges reading the books three times. It will be interesting to see if any of the competition that isn’t good enough becomes better with multiple readings.

Stewart, I hadn’t heard of The Old Spring, but the fact a judge has praised it does seem to raise the odds of its inclusion. *heads off to look it up*

I take your point about re-reading. I rarely re-read, but I imagine that a book like Illustrado would benefit from the re-reading required of the judges. Thousand Autumns could go either way. I don’t think it has a lot of literary depth, but perhaps that would be revealed on re-reading – I guess I’ll never know!

I really hope that the judges wouldn’t award Mitchell the Booker to correct a former wrong. I would be saddened if I ever heard that had happened.

Thanks for all your input – you’ve raised some very interesting points 🙂

I love that you always keeps me up to date on bookish events! Unfortunately, I haven’t read most of those books. I have actually only read Solar. I don’t think it will win though. I think the David Mitchell is a good guess.

I haven’t read any of them. I’m so behind, although I’ve got The Thousand Autumns… and Illustrado. Must try and read them before the prize announcement.

Jackie, here are my predictions for the Man Booker Prize 2010. Hope you enjoy them!

1)The Japanese Lover by Rani Manicka
2)The Long Song by Andrea Levy
3)The Birth Of Love by Joanna Kavenna
4)Beatrice And Virgil by Yann Martel
5)The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
6)Burley Cross Postbox Theft by Nicola Barker
7)Even The Dogs by Jon McGregor
8)Trepass by Rose Tremain
9)The Temple-goers by Aatish Taheer
10)Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
11)The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
12)A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee
13)The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi

Wilson, Interesting selection! You’ve included a lot of books that I considered adding….

I can see Beatrice and Virgil making the list, but in the end I thought that too many critics seemed to dislike it and so imagine the Booker judges will feel the same way. I will be interested to see if it makes the list.

I haven’t read Trespass, but many Tremain fans seem a bit disappointed by it and it didn’t make the Orange so I left it off.

I wasn’t that impressed by The Templegoers, Life Apart or Long Song and I have heard very average things about The Pregnant Widow. I guess they all have a good chance of making the list though.

I agree about Our Tragic Universe though – I was really torn about including it and would be quite happy to see it there.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what makes the cut and I really hope you’re right about The Birth of Love 🙂

Alessandra, I hadn’t noticed the covers before you pointed them out, but I wonder if that is a reflection of the quality. Do publishers spend more time/money on books that have a higher quality? If I had to judge books based on the quality of the cover then I’d be stuck between Solar, Thousand Autumns and Illustrado. Coincidence or short list indication?!!

I’ve just commented on Stu’s blog about his predictions so thought I’d pop over here and have a look at yours too Jackie.
I havent yet read the Maggie O Farrell but she is a favourite of mine so I hope you are right with that one.
Emma Donoghue is another favourite of mine, again I’ve not read Room but have heard good things about it.
I have The Slap on TBR. I dont like Ian McEwan’s books at all!
Must go investigate the other ones.

Anne, I’m not a big McEwan fan either, but I have heard his books are all very different so still plan to keep trying them – perhaps one day I’ll find one that I enjoy 🙂

I haven’t read any Emma Donoghue before, but from what I’ve heard I think she may become a favourite. I’m so excited I feel like starting it right now!!

Love Booker season! I did start THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE (had to return it) and thought it very good. Have got ROOM and need to start it soon.

Mitchell looks to be a fairly sure thing but that’s about the only one I’d bet on.

Lynne, I think it is a tough year to guess. The quality does seem to be a bit lower this year and so anything could have a chance of getting through. I’m looking forward to lots of surprises 🙂

I always feel like such a dolt when it comes to these lists. I see many many books on your predictions list that I want to read…just haven’t gotten ’round to them yet.

Andi, I’ve made a real effort to read the Booker contenders this year, but in the past I wouldn’t have had a clue either. Perhaps you could try to read all the short listed books this year so that you could have fun guessing the winner 😉

I’ve had better luck with the Booker than many awards, so that’s not a bad idea! I tend to enjoy the Booker choices far more than, say, the Pulitzer.

I’m just looking at this list as great new books I want to read! I already have The Slap, and I’m getting the O’Farrell book. I’ve read good things about Solar that make me interested in reading it.

I can never offer suggestions for this kind of thing, because I don’t read new releases often enough – or “books with buzz” until a year or more has gone by! But I love looking at what other bloggers are putting forward, to see what’s worthwhile reading 🙂

Shannon, I have found myself adding to the wishlist after reading other peoples suggestions today. I love the way the Booker prize prompts people to discuss which books have been the best. I’ve seen a lot of buzz about books I’d never even heard of before today – it makes me even more excited about tomorrow’s announcement 🙂

I’ve just done the same, thanks to the links here!

I was wondering – do you think any of the books from the Orange prize short or long list will appear on this one?

Shannon, I don’t think that any of the qualifying Orange books I read are worthy of the Booker prize this year, but I’ve heard that The Still Point is good. I think that is the only one that has a chance.

I am always totally impressed with the ambitious books you read and yearn to read. I wish I could be more objective about what I choose to read…perhaps that will come some day.

Novel Insights, I would be sad if Solar won – there were so many better books published this year. I’m happy for it to be long listed though 🙂

Very interesting list, Jackie; I’ve been trying to stay on holiday-mode but the lure of Booker speculation has been too much!

Your list excites me but I think Yann Martel and Martin Amis will make the cut. I’m also hoping that Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman will make it (I haven’t seen anyone mention it in contention though).

Of course I haven’t read a single one of those above but a few of them have appealed, especially those you have already endorsed previously.

Claire, I don’t think I could stay in holiday mode for the Bookers either 🙂

I’m really not sure about Martel and Amis. I think both will be contraversial choices, but I guess I wouldn’t be surprised to see either there.

I haven’t read Boxer Beetle. I’m not sure many people will have read it as it isn’t published yet – perhaps that is the reason that no one is talking about it? I’ll be interested to see if it makes the cut 🙂

Hi Jackie,
I’m also here by way of Winston’s Dad/Stu. I’m afraid that I haven’t ready ANY of the books you’ve listed, but you know what? I’m adding them to my TBR pile!
I love the Illustrado cover. I almost didn’t recognize Parrot & Oliver and Jacob de Zoet because the US covers are different than the UK ones!

Laura, I thought four was OK 🙂 I was very surprised that Even the Dogs didn’t make the list, but considering the lack of big name authors I thought I guessed quite well. I’m looking forward to reading them all now.

Tom McCarthy’s Men In Space is one of my very very favourite books (his acclaimed debut, Remainder, left me strangely cold), so I am absolutely slathering with anticipation for “C” (almost as much as the translation of Murakami’s 1Q84). From what I can gather it’s already amongst the favourites – just hoping it’ll live up to the hype.

Dan, I hadn’t heard of Tom McCarthy until the Booker talk on twitter yesterday. C seems to be dividing opinion, but I’m really looking forward to seeing which side of the fence I fall 🙂

Hmmm you chose a few great books! And many that were – undeservedly – missed out of the actual list. Have a look at this great site which collects the reviews for all the books you picked out and those that actually made it onto the list:

The Omnivore has rounded up the reviews for all the longlisted books, bringing you a critical digest of quotes from UK and US newspapers and literary journals.

Read the roundups here:

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